Soft Fruit

  • Playing Gooseberry can be fun

    Perhaps it was tinned gooseberries that put many off this delicious fruit? For some reason, people tend to rate most other soft fruits like raspberries, strawberries or blackcurrants above the gorgeous gooseberry. Have a rethink. The breeders have been doing their stuff so that the two main issues to which...
  • The Best Rhubarb Mille Feuille - Recipe

      Mille Feuille made with fresh young rhubarb This is a recipe that works wonderfully well with tender fresh rhubarb such as Stockbridge Arrow (which you can cut from February onwards) and it helps use up all those frozen strawberries you have left over from last summer before the ones...
  • Blackberry and Apple Upside down cake

    Just the best squidgy cake This is a superb cake for early autumn. It sort of helps ease the passing of summer and reminds one why the seasons change.  Blackberry and apple is a classic combination and wrapped up in a super moist sponge they take on an extra dimension...
  • Shrove Tuesday Pancakes with Berry Sauce

    It’s Shrove Tuesday on 4th March, the day we all look forward to for our annual pancake feast and afterwards declare that we should eat pancakes more often. We rarely do of course, so this classic recipe is a way to ensure you make the most of your annual treat.

    Berry season is long gone, but this sauce is a great opportunity to use up any frozen gluts from last year.

    Makes about 6 pancakes, depending on the size of your pan

    Pancakes with Berry Sauce
    Continue reading

  • Our Top Tips For The Season: No. 7


    Raspberries sprout up like weeds!


    If left to their own devices, raspberries will sprout up like weeds. So plant the canes in rows leaving enough of a channel so that you can walk in between the bushes and pick the fruit. And every time you seem one growing in between the rows or sprouting elsewhere, pull it up if it is in the way. Continue reading

  • Our Top Tips For The Season

      Prune your apples and pears It’s time to prune apples and pears to ensure a good crop of fruit for the following year. The aim is to create a goblet type shape. Here's a video on how to prune your tree: Remove diseased and broken branches from trees and...
  • Urban gardening: Cities with a soft fruit centre


    Country hedges have been full of fruit this year,
    but where are the berries in our cities?

    London-based urban gardener, Dan Combes, wonders why there aren't more berries in city centres...

    Towns and cities of Britain, why aren't we cultivating more soft fruits?

    Over the last the two weeks I have planted thousands of bulbs. But why (London, I'm talking to you especially) am I not planting soft fruits? It is the perfect time to put in berries and currants.

    As I write our native flora is abound with fruit. I have never seen our hedgerows so stocked. Clusters of red fruits weigh down hawthorn branches. Rose hips wreath their way through the arms of blackthorn, with their sloes ready to bring the best out of gin.

    And although the elderberries are long gone they deserve a mention. Often slightly sour, this year they were sweet enough to be eaten by the handful.
    Continue reading

  • Planting raspberry canes


    Planting rasperries

    There's little to beat the taste of a well-grown
    raspberry – choose your varieties well and you'll
    be cropping for months!

    Getting the best from your raspberry canes means remembering just a few very important points. And here they are!

      1. Prepare the planting area well in advance to ensure that all weeds are removed. Then keep the planting area weed free at all times.
      2. Enrich the soil with no more than 25% of an appropriate improver when planting.

    Continue reading

  • Prune Your Autumn Raspberry canes!

    Eeek! Here we are trying to come across all professional and wise and we plain forgot to mention autumn fruiting raspberry canes in our February newsletter. So, the point was: if you have autumn fruiting raspberry canes, February is the last chance you will have to prune them right down to...

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